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Rays report: Nine lefties in an attempt to get lineup right

Having lost three straight and four of five, the Rays' lineup has a considerably different look.
Brett Phillips, the Seminole High product acquired last month from Kansas City, will make his first start for the Rays.
Brett Phillips, the Seminole High product acquired last month from Kansas City, will make his first start for the Rays. [ CHRIS O'MEARA | AP ]
Published Sep. 11, 2020

Having lost three straight and four of five — and looked bad doing so — the Rays' lineup has a different look for tonight’s game against the Red Sox, first pitch 6:40.

With Boston starting right-hander Andrew Triggs, the Rays have nine left-handed hitters in their lineup, including the first start for outfielder Brett Phillips, the Seminole High product acquired last month from Kansas City.

Per Andrew Simon of MLB.com, it is the first time in modern baseball history (since 1901, at least) that a team started nine lefties (with none being switch-hitters, as Ji-Man Choi has gone back to swinging lefty only).

Offense has been an issue for the Rays recently, as they have scored five or fewer runs in each of their last nine games, and three or fewer in five of their last eight.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said going with all lefties was in part to try to change things up — as was skipping batting practice, allowing the players to report late.

Also of note, Willy Adames has started wearing glasses, though with clear (uncorrected) lenses to try to help his performance at Tropicana Field. His home-road splits over the last two seasons are dramatic. In 2019, he hit .204 with five homers and a .557 OPS at home and .303, 15, .903 on the road. This season he has hit .179, 1, .597 at home; .367, 4, 1.096 on the road.

Blake Snell will on the mound for the Rays, looking to rebound from a rough Saturday outing against the Marlins, and confident that he will.

Here is the Rays lineup:

Meadows lf

Wendle ss

B. Lowe 2b

Choi 1b

Kiermaier cf

Tsutsugo 3b

N. Lowe dh

Phillips rf

Perez c

Snell p

And here is the Red Sox lineup:

Verdugo rf

Devers 3b

Bogaerts ss

Vazquez c

Plawecki dh

Bradley cf

Dalbec 1b

Chavis lf

Arroyo 2b

Triggs p